First of all I just want to say how this forum been so supportive, encouraging, and informative to me. I’m the youngest of 7 siblings, 2 of which live in the same state as I am. I’m 37. I have a great job, and I’m pretty much a successful mid-level career professional . I live with my parents by choice. From the min I graduated college, I took it upon myself to take care of them and I took over the house finances and all their expenses. Again by choice. Two years ago mom was diagnosed by dementia, she is now stage 5. I continue to work full time, take care of all finances and manage doc appts, and take care of her full time. My two sisters do help, but because they have their own family they can only care for mom for limited hours during the day. Mom started not sleeping much at night, which means I’m also awake with her and have to report to work next day. I booked a hotel nearby and told my sisters to take care of mom for 3 nights so I can sleep. I was shocked by their negative reaction to my request, they even hung up the phone on me. Am I wrong for asking just 3 nights a week to sleep? I’m now being treated as if I committed a crime for requesting that. I feel stuck and burned out.

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You did say your siblings that live local have stepped in at times to assist. From your description (and I am famous for misreading things) it sounded as if you set up everything then expected one of your siblings to just go along with your plans. Respectfully, you are the one that decided to care for your parents ever since you left college. You made your decision on how to live your life, you can't make a decision on how your siblings should live their lives.

Your mother isn't going to be getting better, only worse. It is now time for you to make plans for the next phase/s of your mother's life. If you want quality sleep, maybe it is time to hire someone 3Xs per week to be available to your mother during your sleeping hours. The other alternative is to place her in a good MC facility. You've been a good daughter to take care of your parents and placing your mother in a facility won't change that.

Wishing you the best.
Helpful Answer (19)
Reply to cweissp
Harpcat Apr 20, 2021
This is an excellent spot on answer! Also I want to add that if you can afford a hotel for 3 nights a week, you can also afford to hire an agency person to come sit an 8 hour shift 3 nights week while you sleep.
but you should read the above statement carefully and re evaluate what you are facing and take necessary next steps. No one ever gets gold stars for being a martyr, however well intentioned. Your sisters do have a right to set boundaries as do you.
STOP paying for everything
You need to save for your own retirement and old age care should you need it. You cannot do this by yourself or you may not be around to enjoy your retirement. Time to move out. Get the folks placed in a retirement community.
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Reply to gladimhere
disgustedtoo Apr 20, 2021
You really don't know what the expenses are or how much OP might be putting aside for her own future. IF she can afford to pay AND put aside funds for herself, this isn't the issue. The lack of sleep is.

I would recommend that mom and dad's income be used to pay for someone to watch over them at night, so she can sleep. If their income is low enough, depending on state rules, they might even qualify for some Medicaid care - it is usually limited hours, but if all she really needs is overnight on weeknights, Medicaid and/or using mom and dad's income to pay for help should work.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- I firmly believe the lack of sleep killed my father. My mother is the one with the health issues, and unfortunately, that required gobs of diuretics, so she'd be up every two hours to go to the bathroom. My dad would wake up, too, and often get up to make sure she got to the bathroom and back safely. He never slept more than two hours at a time for about five years. Mom didn't either, but she pretty much slept around the clock, so she got a lot more cumulative sleep than he did.

I moved in with them when Dad got sick, and lived with them for eight weeks or so. The last couple of weeks of my dad's life I was getting up with Mom as she went to the bathroom, and a couple of times she came to my bedroom door to tell me Dad had died. (He hadn't.) That's when I moved him to another room, though. After a couple of weeks doing that, I was like the walking dead from exhaustion, and I'm more than thirty years younger than my poor dad was.

Not getting sleep isn't just annoying -- it's downright dangerous to your health. If your siblings won't help you (and shame on them), you must hire help or place Mom in a facility. I'll also tell you that even with hired help, you'll never be able to turn off your internal radar if you're still in the house. You'll be listening with one ear all night, even if someone else if supposed to take care of Mom.

As others have said, this will not get better -- it will only get worse. Don't wait until you lose your health or your job, and take care of the problem now.
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Reply to MJ1929
AsterGirl Apr 20, 2021
Please don't shame the siblings. We all have choices and they have a right to make their own. Just because you are a child does not sentence you to a life as a caregiver.
I think that if your siblings had wanted to help at all, they would have stepped up long before now, so no, I am not surprised by their reactions. They have it made in the shade, with you stepping up to do everything.
Unfortunately you're probably going to have to hire some overnight help(normally I would say with your parents money, but since it sounds like you're paying for everything, with your money)so you can get the much needed sleep your body needs to be able to function properly.
Most people discover exactly what kind of family they actually have when help is needed in one way or another. Wishing you rest.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
bundleofjoy Apr 19, 2021

you wrote:
“Most people discover exactly what kind of family they actually have when help is needed in one way or another.”


anyone asking me 10 years ago, “if an emergency would happen, would the whole family help?”

me: yes, for sure!!

that was wrong.
i, however, prefer to know the truth. i’m glad to know the truth about their lack of morals, lack of compassion, awful personality.

indeed i prefer to know the truth as early as possible.

i only want to keep nice people in my life.
not awful people.

i wish us all well here on this forum!! hug!! hope your week goes well!!

bundle of joy :)
It is very noble of you to want to show love and respect to your parents through your acts of service and protection. However, no one is morally or ethically obliged to care for their parents. I don't wish to offend you but if you've never had your own children you probably have no idea how exhausting that in itself can be, especially if they are very young kids and there's more than 1. This may be a primary reason your sisters don't/can't participate.

Your current arrangement for care is not working. Looking into the future, it will become only more intense, especially if your father requires more daily attention as well. Even with the help of your sisters, I promise it will be unsustainable. Everyone will be orbiting around your parents, robbing attention from their own immediate families, exhausting all of you physically, emotionally and financially.

Of course you absolutely must make your own health and well-being a priority or you won't be able to help your parents. Without knowing what your parents' financial situation is, it will be difficult to give you suggestions for how to get unstuck. How old are they? Do they speak English? What is their financial situation? Do you have PoA for either of them? FYI without a legally executed PoA you will not be able to properly or easily manage their affairs. I hope you can post additional information so you get the suggestions specific to your situation.
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Reply to Geaton777
Kellyjenkins May 3, 2021
Oh but we are morally obliged to care for ailing parents. I can’t imagine not
You made a choice to take care of your parents. Not everyone wants to make the same choice. Your sisters have made a choice to take care of their own family and dependents. So yes, you are wrong, but not for asking, but expecting them to be where you are.
I am NOT a caregiver. I am a daughter, mother and a professional with people counting on me to get a paycheck so they can provide for their families. I do what I can when I can. There is always more we can do, but having boundaries is a sign of maturity.
People are living longer today, with more ailments than ever. My own mother has had 4 heart attacks, many joint replacements, severe arthritis and lost my father. I go over to her house (she still lives alone) and help when I can. I have my own children, my own firm and my own issues of my life where others depend on me.
You have a right to sleep as well. What if someone told you to move out to your own place, sell their home and use the proceeds to fund a care home for your parents?
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Reply to AsterGirl
Kellyjenkins May 3, 2021
We as a society should value our parents and provide as much care as we can and then hire out what’s needed
I think it's a very good idea for you to get respite. I think the way you went about it was verging on self-sabotage. Did you seriously expect your sisters to say how high when you said jump?

You can either try mending things with them - six siblings, surely one of them can stay the occasional night? - or you can look for respite services. Depending on how badly you've offended them...

I have to say. If somebody tried to force my hand in the way you tried to force theirs I would have laughed too hard to be able to hang up - you'd just have heard evil cackling. What were you thinking?

... the paid services would probably be quicker to organise but the healed relationships would be better all round.

You are absolutely NOT wrong to recognise that you need to sleep. I'm sorry this has been a disaster, but don't let it put you off making your own wellbeing a priority.
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Reply to Countrymouse

Okay, first you are not wrong to ask for just 3 nights a week to sleep.

You need 7 nights a week sleep. Every week. You are a human I presume? Not a robot? Sleep is not an enjoyable luxury, but essential to life.

I think maybe you just asked the wrong people... In fact... I believe you didn't ask but *told* "I booked a hotel nearby and told my sisters to take care of mom for 3 nights so I can sleep". I get it. Have been there myself with a 'non-stick' sib. Had to face that was her boundary.

You sound like a caring intelligent person. So here it is straight. Take on your responsibility to get your own sleep. This means assessing the situation as it is now. Is it getting too much for one person? If so, who can help? Is family offering? If not, arrange non-family help. Find out where to get home aides, day care, other services to your home. Book it, pay for it (folks pay, not you). Or is it time to consider a move into care for one or both?

Feeling stuck & burned out is totally understandable. The best solution is when a family can have a polite & constructive family meeting. Discuss what help (if any) each can do, what the wishes & values of your parents are & make a plan that fits.
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Reply to Beatty

Use your parents funds to pay for a "sitter" at night.
(tell the truth the cost of a night "sitter" might be less than the hotel!)
And do not do this just 3 nights a week or a month this will be your new routine.
A night "sitter" does not have to have particular skills they just need to make sure mom is safe if she does get up. Try to get her back to bed if she gest up. Maybe change her if she is soiled. This is a great job for a college student particularly if they are remote learning now. This is often a job in Hospitals that they hire Nursing and other medical students for.
If you are asking for just 3 nights a week you will become burned out. You need full nights of sleep every night of the week. This is not unreasonable.
I paid caregivers a bit over $20.00 an hour 4 years ago and that was daytime and they did a lot. Changing, re-positioning, feeding if he needed it...
Night care, depending on what is involved it would probably cost $100 - 200 for a 12 hours overnight stay. And you may not even need 12 hours. Look into what the cost is. It may be once the rest of the family hears that this is your plan they may all of a sudden have the time to stay with mom if they think you are spending their inheritance! BUT you do need more than 3 nights away.
Discuss with her doctor about antianxiety medications that may help with any problems she may be having at night. Being alone in a dark room might be frightening to her.
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Reply to Grandma1954
jacobsonbob Apr 20, 2021
FWIW, depending upon the location and the choices of accommodations available, a hotel may cost less than $200 or even $100. When I'm traveling on my own dime, I seldom pay more than about $55 to $65. But I admit that regardless of the cost of a room, finding inexpensive lodging for the night doesn't solve the problem of how to do with the OP's mother at night--unless getting away for the night AND having a sitter present at home is an option!
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There was an example of a similar conversation earlier this week.

"I booked a hotel nearby and told my sisters to take care of mom for 3 nights so I can sleep."

Why do you feel you can order your siblings to do as you say? "...told my sisters to take care of mom..."

You do not get to tell anyone what to do.

I understand you are tired, but 3 nights in a hotel is not going to solve the issue. The issue is Mum needs over night care giving. You need to look at your options, that do not include telling your siblings what to do.

Possible options:
Hire overnight care givers
Residential care
Working with Mum's doctor to see if her sleep can be better managed.
I am sure there are more, but these are off the top of my head.
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Reply to Tothill

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